More taxpayers’ money for the banks

Press conference by Štefan Füle, Member of the European Commission, on the adoption of the 2013 Enlargement package and its communication and follow-up reports. However the Icelandic government decided to put accession negotiations in the ice, because relations with the EU turned sour, due to banks and a fish called mackerel.

Press conference by Štefan Füle, Member of the European Commission, on the adoption of the 2013 Enlargement package and its communication and follow-up reports. However the Icelandic government decided to put accession negotiations in the ice, because relations with the EU turned sour, due to banks and a fish called mackerel.

Within 24 hours, after the European Sting published on Thursday an article entitled, “Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks”, and the responsible EU Commissioner Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC blessed as legitimate the rescue of the Dutch bank and insurance company SNS REAAL by the country’s exchequer with more than €4 billion. He said that the bailout is “in line with EU state aid rules”. If it was a subsidy to the Dutch SMEs engaged in the repair of bicycles, the Commission would have intervened asking the technicians to return the money to the state plus interest.

It is as if handing out taxpayers’ money to financial companies, is the most natural thing of the world and the real sector companies small and big, have nothing against it, despite the fact that the banks do not lend them the money they receive for free. In the rare case that a bank accorded a new loan to an SME or a consumer during the past four years, the interest rate was always in the double-digit region.

The untouchables

Unfortunately it’s not only the Commission that treats the financial sector companies as if they don’t belong to this world. Invariably all the western world governments, at the brilliant exception of Iceland, keep spending their taxpayers’ money in injecting billions into banks. Thank God, Reykjavik proved to the world that our modern societies can survive even if all banks go bust and other, new financial firms, are born as it was usual until now in the economic system that once was capitalism. Nowadays 130 banks in the Eurozone have been elevated to the heavenly category of ‘systemic’ making them untouchable or probably cherubs?

Coming back down to earth, the relevant Press release issued by the Commission yesterday goes like this, “Because of persistent problems following the write down of its property finance portfolio, the Dutch State decided in February 2013 to nationalise the group SNS REAAL and to inject new capital. In this context, the Dutch State notified the following state measures to the Commission:
*a €1.9 billion recapitalisation of SNS Bank in the form of ordinary shares;
*a €300 million recapitalisation of SNS REAAL in the form of ordinary shares; and
*a bridge loan of €1.1 billion to SNS REAAL to secure its short-term funding needs.”
Also as part of the restructuring plan, the Dutch exchequer will spin-off the property finance activities of this bank and insurance firm into a bad bank at a transfer price above the market value, amounting to an additional aid of € 859 million. In total the poor and the rich Dutch taxpayers alike will pay €4,159 million to revitalise this financial zombie.

Politically correct

Commissioner Almunia in order to be legally and politically correct noted that “The Commission found that the State aid granted to SNS REAAL is necessary to preserve the stability of the Dutch financial system”. Obviously, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the Prime Minister of Iceland would object this. Last time he was in Brussels he delivered a lesson or two to the Brussels’ dignitaries, about how his country treated all those fraudulent bankers, who pocket the profits from their risky bets and when those ‘investments’ go sour they ask the state to pay the bill.

One after the other, the major shareholders and the top management of the three Icelandic banks Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir Bank which went bust, are convicted to long imprisonment sentences. Their crime is not that they went bust, but what they did before that. In any case the paradigm of Iceland remains as a reminder to everybody that banks and bankers should be left to go bankrupt as any other business. Just take care that they didn’t have the opportunity to cheat people about security and yields of ‘investments’.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

China Unlimited: an exclusive interview with the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Healthcare workers’ safety: a forgotten necessity

Understanding the ‘second brain’ in your gut

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

First EU-wide protection for whistle-blowers agreed

The EU has to prove it can remain one piece

These 8 countries have perfect scores for women’s rights at work

International Women’s Day: Where does she belong?

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

4 things ISPs can do to reduce the impact of cybercrime

Trump ‘used’ G20 to side with Putin and split climate and trade packs

State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into arbitration award in favour of Antin to be paid by Spain

Vile act of torture prohibited ‘under all circumstances’, UN chief affirms on International Day to support victims

3 ways to ensure the internet’s future is creative, collaborative and fair

This lethal fungus is threatening to wipe out the world’s bananas

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

New rules on drivers’ working conditions and fair competition in road transport

Help African farmers cope with climate change threats, UN food agency urges

Why cybersecurity matters more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

3 ways to make technologies more inclusive for people with disabilities

Confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine grows in UK and US, but global concerns about side effects are on the rise

Preventing and resolving conflicts must form ‘backbone’ of collective efforts – UN chief

UPDATED: Thousands flee fighting around Libyan capital as Guterres condemns escalation, urges ‘immediate halt’ to all military operations

How emerging markets will shape Africa in 2020

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

This tool shows you which cities will flood as ice sheets melt

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

Security Council urges ‘maximum restraint’ around Gulf region as Iran and United States trade diplomatic blows in New York

EU Parliament says ‘no’ to austerity budget

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

China and China-EU Relations in the New Era

5 things you might not know about forests – but should

More hiring freedom can reduce teacher shortages in disadvantaged areas

When it comes to envirotech adoption, NGOs can lead us out of the woods

‘Extinction crisis’ pushes countries to agree stronger protection for global wildlife

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

The digital transformation is a skills and education opportunity for all. Companies must use it

European Commission increases support for the EU’s beekeeping sector

Building a Climate-Resilient Future – A new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change

The UK option: An overarching alternative for the whole Brexit options

‘The time for action is now’ senior UN peacekeeping official says, urging support for regional force combating Sahel terrorism

Mediterranean migrant drownings should spur greater action by European countries, urge UN agencies

Carbon levy on EU imports needed to raise global climate ambition

Iran: women hunger strikers entitled to medical care, UN rights experts urge

It is now the era to evolve mutually as the bacteria do

COVID-19: Revised rules to encourage banks to lend to companies and households

Fashion’s hot new trend: clothes you don’t need to wash (very often)

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

Republic of Korea President proposes DMZ as future ‘peace and cooperation district’ on Peninsula

Women’s work faces the greatest risk of automation, says new research

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

We must rethink and repurpose cybersecurity for the COVID-19 era

EU-Turkey relations: EU considers imposing sanctions while Turkey keeps violating Cyprus’ sovereignty

National parks give a $6 trillion boost to mental health worldwide

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

Will Eurozone be able to repay its debts? Is a bubble forming there?

Eight years in, Syria still embroiled in conflict ‘that no longer sparks outrage’, Security Council hears

Difficulties of vaccination against COVID-19

Services are the hidden side of the US-China trade war

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s